I just wanted to drop you a note on why I am voting for Jonathan Rothschild for Mayor, Regina Romero, Paul Cunningham and Shirley Scott for the Tucson City Council. I am also writing to you to express my support for Daniel Hernandez for the Sunnyside School District Board and for the bond proposals on Sunnyside’s ballot too.
Regina Romero and Shirley Scott are two people I have worked with since December 2009, when I was sworn into office as your Ward 5 Councilmember.
I was sworn into office on December 7, 2009, and just eight days later, the Mayor and Council were informed that the City faced a $33.5 million dollar budgetary shortfall. Talk about a transition period to learn the job!
I have been able to work with Shirley Scott and Regina Romero, as well as my office working with their offices, and this shortfall was dealt with, thanks to them, the rest of the Mayor and Council and the City Manager’s Office in early 2010.
Two more budget shortfalls, of $44-million and $55.1-million for Fiscal Year 2011 and 2012 were dealt with responsibly. No police and fire personnel were laid off and no services being eliminated outright, thanks to the Mayor and Council who supported the budget proposals and ideas brought forth by all the Councilmembers and the City Manager’s Office.
One of the unique ideas brought to the table was by Paul Cunningham, the Councilmember for Tucson’s Ward 2, to “set a floor” that public safety’s budgets not be cut further. This idea was brought up for consideration by Paul Cunningham on December 14, 2010, in the first discussions about the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, and was approved unanimously.
Paul has been on the Council since April 2010, replacing Rodney Glassman, who had resigned to run for higher office. Neighborhood services, job creation and the City’s roads have been the focus of Paul’s efforts so far while on the Council and he has a solid track record on these, but he is not alone, so does Shirley and Regina.
Shirley has worked hard on the U of A Tech Park in her Ward while Regina unveiled her economic initiative - which the Council adopted and is implementing and will be holding Tucson Means Business Forums across the City.
Single ideas, as well as work in their districts is only part of the story.
From the support of my proposal to streamlining the Certificate of Occupancy process - resulting in the creation of 70 new businesses; changing the Land Use Code and permitting procedures - resulting in $426 million in commercial constructions and development permits being taking out; supporting the creation of the Bridges Project and Costco in my Ward, the U of A BioPark, as well as favoring all rezoning cases involving expansion of businesses, much has been accomplished.
It isn’t all about business, the Council approved a new water policy for Tucson Water, plans to help protect the integrity of neighborhoods, such as Jefferson Park and Feldman’s, turning down an offer to take over the city bus service - which would not have saved any money for the city taxpayer’s during these tough, economic times.
During my time on the City Council, it hasn’t been about Democratic versus Republican, left versus right, but reaching a consensus and changing how things have operated in city government.
From police and fire budgets and personnel, bus fares, the budget, Rio Nuevo, neighborhoods and improving the business climate and attitude in the Old Pueblo, this Council has worked, listening to ideas, discussing them and implementing them.
Much has been accomplished during my 23 months as your Councilmember, but there is still work to be done and with Paul, Shirley and Regina, the work will get completed for you and for Tucson.
Then there is Jonathan Rothschild, who is running to be Tucson’s next Mayor. Jonathan is a lawyer, running a law firm, served on many community organization’s boards, as well as the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Commission.
Jonathan is intelligent, successful, works for his community - a good, family man, but there is an important point to be made about him, he wants to be Mayor.
He began his campaign more than a year ago, reading up on what the Mayor actually does, under the City Charter, as well as formulating his ideas on what the Mayor needs to do.
Jonathan has brought up proposals of a businessman ombudsman to help businesses, to working to have a dialogue with neighborhoods on their concerns. His ideas have stirred thought and discussion on these, as well as others he has brought forward.
Rothschild has done his homework: participating in many community events, listening to different communities throughout Tucson and encouraging the suggestion of ideas on how the City of Tucson government could operate even better.
He cares about Tucson, the community and importantly, wants to work to ensure a vibrant future for the Old Pueblo and he wants to be your next Mayor.
With Jonathan Rothschild, Regina Romero, Paul Cunningham and Shirley Scott, Tucson will see the economic light at the end of this tunnel.
Tucson’s elections for Mayor and Council are not the only items being considered on November 8. Three school districts have bond elections on ballots, one of which is the Sunnyside School District and in addition, has an election for a vacant school board seat.
Sunnyside voters have a wonderful choice for the school board seat in Daniel Hernandez, the young man, U of A student, who helped to save Cong. Gabrielle Giffords’ life, when she was the target of an assassin’s bullet on January 8, of this year. Hernandez was just beginning his time as an intern with Giffords’ office and thanks to his medical studies, Gabrielle Giffords is with us today.
Quiet and unassuming, Hernandez has shown us all to be a smart, articulate individual, who wants to work to better his community and is starting out by wanting help Sunnyside’s School District in their efforts. He is a great choice to be part of their Board.
Also, on the ballot is a bond override proposal for Sunnyside’s School District. Contrary to what has been said, erroneously, it is not a tax increase or to pay for one person’s salary, but to improve classrooms, update the computers and other learning equipment and to continue to employ the teaching staff - who work hard to make Sunnyside’s schools the success they are, with improved attendance, test results and their work with the Digital Advantage.
For schools to succeed, we must rely on ourselves and not the current State Legislature, which has slashed funding to school districts, such as Sunnyside. The question is whether one believes in the work done and accomplishments achieved by the Sunnyside School District. The answer is simple, “Yes!”
Voters in the Sunnyside School District received a separate ballot, which has the bond proposals and the school board election. This election being conducted by the Pima County Recorder’s office and Elections Department. For more information, call 740-4330.
Tucson ballots needs to be mailed by Friday, November 4, or taken to your polling place on election day. For more information, call the Tucson City Clerk, 791-3221.
Please fill out your ballots, for Tucson and for our future.
Richard G. Fimbres